There was once a boy …

A snippet from the novel, ‘All the Colours Above’ … Tobiah has a book of beginnings, of unfinished stories … the dark blue book of endless possibilities, of mind probing, and inner revelations. The book of once upon a time … and of the dark night. He gives Indigo the beginning of a story, and she must finish it.

B & W photograph from 123rf. Eye artwork by Julieann Wallace

‘There was once a boy …’ Tobiah said, his voice fruity, like an elegant red wine.

I waited for him to continue reading. When he didn’t, I opened my eyes and looked at him.

He connected his eyes to mine. ‘Finish the story,’ he said, his voice like velvet.


‘It’s what you have to do with this book. It gives you the beginning of a chapter, and you have to finish it.’

I frowned at him. This was the stupidest book I had ever heard of!

‘I like to escape into the words and get lost in my imagination. It helps me to relax and stop overthinking life,’ he said, as a way of explanation.

I inhaled deeply, wondering what would make him overthink, then decided to go along with his little charade and humour him.

‘There was once a boy. He was born with knowledge that no one else had. He could see things that no one else could see. But when he spoke of these things in truth, he was told he was lying. So, with every breath of every day he tried to hide his gift; his otherworldly knowledge, but his eyes couldn’t. Whoever looked into them could see the stars that shined, showing them that he was not like the others. He was different. And was misunderstood. He became the centre of allegations and rumours and untruths. So, to protect his heart, he withdrew from people. And he learned this: if no one could like him, he must be unlikeable, and therefore, unlovable.

The boy made himself invisible. Head down in books. Caps hiding his face. Ear buds in to block out the world. And the stars in his eyes faded until there were none, replaced by the uncolour of normality. Of gray colours of acceptance. Of camouflaged colours of blending in. Of being liked by others.

And so, he must be happy, mustn’t he? He was now like everyone else and fitted in with perfection, his giftedness boxed up, sealed, and buried.


His behaviour had been moulded by others, by society, creating him into a copy of them, like they were all on the same medication to stop individuality. And that is how he lived his life. Like the others. Sleep. Wake up. Work. Sleep. Day in. Day out.

Then one night, when he was lying in his hiding place, stripped bare of his normality, daring to release his true colours and his inner light while looking up at the stars, a girl stumbled upon him.

She gazed into his eyes and saw more stars than the night sky.

‘What!’ he said, angered that she was in his hiding place beyond the trees in the open field, and that she had seen him. The real him.

Disappointed by his reaction, she hung her head. ‘Nothing. I just thought … you might be … different … to the others.’

His face softened. ‘Different in a good way … or different in a bad way?’

‘Different, in a good way. Trying to fit in with the world is a boring path that keeps its own flat line, without peaks and falls. No challenges. No creativity. No imagination. No triumphs. It just is. Sleep. Wake up. Work. Sleep. Wake up. Work. Mediocrity.’

She reclined next to him and gazed at what he was looking at: two versions of himself. In one vision, he was dead in spirit, to fit in with others, but in the second vision; his true being, fearfully and wonderfully made, was shown—his inner light and his vibrant colour.

She poked him in the chest. ‘I prefer this colourful, shiny version of you. Release yourself from your self-imposed prison. Be who you are meant to be. Follow the path that was built just for you. Love others like you want to be loved.’

He frowned at her. ‘You can see what I see?’

‘Yes. You’re not the only one who sees what you see. The world is waiting for you to show them light. But it takes courage. I know you can do it.’

He shook his head.

‘After the first step, it gets easier.’

He looked at her, eyes brimming.

‘The world will love you for being you. Not at first, and not always. But in the end.’ She covered his hand with hers, and he held onto her fingers, and closed his eyes.

When he opened his eyes again, she was gone. But the stars in his eyes were brighter, burning like they were created to be.

He smiled. He had work to do. Important work to gift to others.’

From the dark blue book of endless possibilities, of mind probing, and inner revelations. The book of once upon a time … and of the dark night, in the novel, ‘All the Colours Above’.

Enjoy the book trailer

Grab a print book at Lilly Pilly Publishing Or an eBook or print book at Amazon

Julieann Wallace is a bestselling author who writes novels under the pen name of Amelia Grace. She resides in Australia and likes to encourage others to use the Arts to be changemakers, and a voice for others through use of the power of written words and visual art. She is a self-confessed tea ninja, chocoholic, and papercut survivor, and tries not to scare her cat, Claude Monet, with her terrible cello playing.

Instagram Amelia Grace



Amelia’s novel, The Colour of Broken (and prequel to ‘All the Colours Above’), has a main character with Meniere’s disease, and was #1 on Amazon a number of times. It was longlisted from 1000s of novels to the top 42 for “Adaptable – from book to screen” in 2021. She donates 100% profits from sales to the Brain and Mind Centre at the University of Sydney where researchers are searching for a cure for Meniere’s disease.

Grab a print book at Lilly Pilly Publishing, or an eBook or print book at Amazon

Enjoy the book trailer

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